Claudio Monteverdi

(May 15, 1567 - Novebmer 19, 1643)

Background and Education within the Church

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi, born in Cremona in Northern Italy, was one of the latest Renaissance composers and is considered to be the few who launched the musical world into the Baroque period.

Within the Cremona Cathedral he practiced playing the viol and sung in the church choir. Guided by the Maestro of the Cathedral, he soon learned more of music. He was married, and attended the University of Cremona in 1607, and eventually became a priest after his wife's death.

He humbly wrote many operas and haunting, dramatic madrigals for himself and his musical career. For the church, he did many stunning and vibrant pieces that were full of life, bringing life to each instrument he implemented.

At 15 he created his first anthology. With the generous patronage of the Duke of Mantua, Vincenzo Ganzaga and the religious supporters he gained through his church music, he was able to bring a new baroque style to the world.


Premiered in 1607 in Mantua, Duke Vincenzo Ganzaga organized the opera to take place for Monteverdi, seeing how deep and vibrant L'Orfeo was.

It wasn't his first Opera written, but it was his first recognized by a large amount of people and officiated by a city. Today you can listen to the many recordings by maestros and their orchestra that raced to be the superior recording to each other. It's use of instruments were described as "vibrant" and gave "life to each piece with a voice for each instrument."

I find this piece so interesting because the detail and pieces to it were described as a "novel opera", like a story with vibrant and happy emotion, to slower and sadder pieces.

This exemplified humanism, the idea of emotion and bringing emotion to art (his music) is a great example of how humanism was present in the Renaissance, even towards, what is considered,the very end.


The Orfeo Suite (Claudio Monteverdi) - Walter Carlos by apyleofvinyl

MLA Citations

"Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

"Claudio (Giovanni Antoni) Monteverdi." International Dictionary of Opera. Gale, 1993. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

Stevens, D. "Claudio Monteverdi." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.